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Hang Gliding Over Park County

July 16th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

So there I was on Saturday, taking in the view of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse and the surrounding areas as I was hang gliding.

You read me right. Most of you know that I am not a daredevil. My idea of risky behavior is going on a first date wearing jeans I bought at Wal-Mart.

But instead of jumping off a cliff and letting the prevailing winds keep me aloft, I took advantage of a new option offered at the airport. Airborne Over Cody provides rides in the “microlight” planes that use fabric wings you see on hang gliders, but the planes are propeller-driven with the pilot and passenger strapped in to a cockpit.

We took off on a glorious blue-sky Absaroka Mountain morning and headed south toward Meeteetse. I wanted to land and make a visit to the “Cowboy Chocolatier” but that idea was unceremoniously nixed. While I am not happy about that decision, I guess I can live with it.

After a right turn over Lower Sunshine Reservoir we flew up to Buffalo Bill State Park. Everybody around here knows the story of how the dam was built so that the North Fork of the Shoshone River Read More


Full Family Season Is Upon Us

July 9th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

The 2013 Cody Stampede is now a fond memory. I should have kept some sort of journal of how many old friends I saw and new ones I made – hmm, maybe I could invent some sort of electronic contraption that will allow me to take photos, record addresses and phone numbers, organize these friends into one big group and then tell everyone details of my life such as what I am having for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But I digress. With the Stampede complete, we are in full summer season, and that means family time. I understand that many people like to travel during what is called the “shoulder seasons” when the weather is nice and the atmosphere a little more relaxed, but as long as kids are in school from early September through early June, families will make the Great American Road Trip in the summer.

Personally, I love it. With the obvious exception of Sleeping Giant ski area, all of our activities and attractions are going full force and you can feel the energy on our streets.

While many of the visitors stop in Cody for one night on their way to or from Yellowstone Park, Read More


Buffalo Bill Presents Our Flag To The Queen

July 2nd, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

With July 4th almost here, I think about what our flag means to me as a symbol of freedom and the joining of the many diverse regions of our country into a single entity that is so much stronger than our individual parts.

I also think about how that flag and our very own Buffalo Bill Cody were instrumental in solidifying our relationship with England.

Many people know that Buffalo Bill was the most famous person in the world at one time. His Wild West Show was incredibly popular as it toured the U.S. and later went international. In 1887, Bill took his show to Europe where it was a smash success seen by more than one million people.

Among those attending the show was the very proper Queen Victoria. Many of the English people were more than a little surprised that the queen chose to attend the show, and this step only served to increase interest. What happened at the show is even better.

At the beginning of each show, Buffalo Bill entered with the American flag. On this day he rode into the arena and over to the queen to present himself and the Read More


The Cody Stampede Is A Week Away!

June 25th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

With the Cody Stampede just a week away I am shifting my efforts to find a date for the July 4th holiday into a higher gear.

I had my sights set on nine-time world rodeo champion Ty Murray, but someone told me he is married to a singer. And I do respect the institution of marriage. Otherwise, I would just head over the Cody Theatre and tell Dan Miller what time to pick me up.

The Cody Stampede is special even in our rodeo-centric town. This year’s events will be held for four days July 1-4 and will attract the top cowboys in the world. I tried to legally change my name to “Cody Stampede” but the judge would not allow it. He didn’t accept my argument that I, too, attracted cowboys.

In addition to the bull riding, roping and such, we have the stampede parade. Actually, that’s two parades. On July 2 at 10 a.m., the Kiddies Parade gets underway. In addition to being in the parade just for the fun of it, the kids compete in various categories such as “Most Patriotic,” “Best Decorated Float” and several others. At 9:30 a.m. on July 3 and 4, the Read More


When I Have Company

June 18th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Few things in life are certain, but I can practically guarantee this: If you live in Cody/Yellowstone Country you will have company at some point, most likely in the summer. And if your friends and relatives are anything like mine, they are curious about what makes the town and surrounding area tick.

I have developed a surefire way to answer most of the questions these folks have and to make their visit so much better by helping them understand what they are seeing.

Here’s my three-step process.

1.  I take my guests over to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and we make a hard left straight to the Draper Natural History Museum. We walk over to the edge of the top level and look down at a big tile floor map of the region. By starting big, we get our bearings and see where Cody, Park County, the Park and the whole Yellowstone ecosystem fit together.

We then head down the ramps and begin to learn about some more specific topics like the area’s wildlife, how forest fires are actually good for the Read More


Cody Western Furniture

June 11th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

It’s going to be a big week for me in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country with some serious decision-making going on.

That’s because I am going shopping for furniture, and I am not talking about your basic sofas, loveseats, chairs, ottomans and recliners.

No, I like to buy my furniture one or two pieces at a time from one of many fine artists in town. You probably didn’t know that our little town has attracted some of the finest builders and designers of Western furniture and accessories.

This is not something that happened overnight, and we can trace Cody’s roots as a center for Western furniture back to the 1930s to our most famous designer and builder – Thomas Molesworth, owner of the Shoshone Furniture Company. Molesworth combined the basic furniture designs that local cowboys used in ranch houses throughout the area with elements such as leather, horsehide, elk antlers, Native American weavings, brass tacks and more.

After building furniture for us locals, Molesworth’s work became known by Easterners, many of whom traveled to Western dude ranches and Yellowstone National Park. He subsequently received commissions to design and build tables, chairs, couches and other furniture for homes across Read More


My First Trip Of The Year Into “The...

June 4th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

I had the best weekend! The first trip to the park every spring is always special, but this year’s venture had the extra bonus of knowing that so many citizens of Cody banded together to help make the east entrance snow plowing happen on time.  

I am so proud of my peeps and the way they refused to let politics, budget cuts and a little snow get in the way of their livelihoods.

Anyway, I headed due west to the park – we locals usually refer to Yellowstone as “the park” – early Saturday morning. With the sun at my back the light was perfect, and I stopped several times along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway to shoot some photos of the rock formations. While there are plenty of “Castle Rocks” and “Chimney Rocks” wherever you go, we have formations called “Old Woman and Her Cabin,” “Snoopy the Dog” and “Chinese Wall.” My favorite is “Laughing Pig Rock.”

As I departed the Wapiti Valley I waved to Buffalo Bill’s original hunting lodge – Pahaska Tepee – and headed up Sylvan Pass. Since I was in no hurry, I stopped at a pull out and looked over the edge Read More


Memorial Day

May 28th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Ask anyone in Buffalo Bill’s Yellowstone Country who watches the sun, moon and stars when summer starts and they will tell you June 21.

The rest of us know better. Summer starts Memorial Day Weekend.

For me that means an extra morning to sleep in, at least two barbecues and some long walks that start out short but expand because I keep running into friends who are eager to catch up.

There is one thing, however, that I always make sure I do and one that serves to remind me to never take for granted the beauty that surrounds me and the freedom I enjoy in my little corner of paradise.

About halfway between town and the airport – 2519 26th Street to be exact – is the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park

Currently this park features monuments and memorials to our state’s military people killed during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. The process is also under way to dedicate the Freedom Memorial to honor those killed during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the Iraq Wars, the Cold War, other engagements and in peace time.

This Memorial Day I spent an hour on the walking path Read More


The Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo

May 14th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

This summer I am planning an Independence Day date with a 94-year-old and a few after dinner rendezvous with a 75-year-old. And I truly am excited about them.

You see, I am not just some opportunist hoping to weasel her way into an inheritance a la Anna Nicole Smith. Nope, the old timers I am referring to are the Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo.

The Cody Stampede dates back to 1919. It has twice been named the “Best Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year” by PRCA. This four-day event attracts the top cowboys in the world as they compete in all of the disciplines like bull riding, roping and buying fine Western jewelry for their favorite bloggers. Okay, I made that last one up, but I will say that I am partial to turquoise and anyone who wants to know my ring size can send me a private e-mail.

In addition to the rodeo events, my favorite Fourth of July activity is watching the parade. In Cody, it is not just any parade. Our grand marshals have included a few people you might have heard of. How about John Wayne, Chuck Yeager and Steven Seagal?

The Cody Read More


Acts Opening Through June 1st

May 8th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

Blog post – Week of May 6

 Over the weekend I sat down at my kitchen table with my dry erase board and magic markers and began filling in my calendar. Yes, I know there are all of these high-tech methods of setting up programs with reminders and priority flags and color coding, but I just prefer my white board on the front of the refrigerator.

 Anyway, summer is almost here, and several of my favorite acts and attractions in Cody/Yellowstone Country are opening for the season in the next month or so.

 This weekend the town will host our Annual Buffalo Bill Top Notch Horse Sale. On Saturday we will close down the street at the Irma Hotel and set up a corral as close to 100 horses are bought and sold.

 From May 15-19 is our first Spring Into Yellowstone festival. This will be a great opportunity for folks to learn about and observe some the local wildlife, especially the birds of the area. I am planning on spending equal time in the seminars listening to some of our wildlife experts and out in the field putting some of that newfound knowledge to use.

 On May 17 Read More